I had dinner at the Meddlesome Moth (love the name) last night. It was the first night of the soft open, but it didn't seem to have any trouble drawing a crowd.
I've been waiting for a true gastropub with really good food and a great beer selection to open for a long time. The owners of The Flying Saucer have hit the mark with this spot on Oak Lawn and Hi Line in the Design District. There are 40 beers on tap and another 75 in the bottle. I only tried two, but the selection is sure to please even the most discerning beer aficionados.
Most of the food items on the menu are shared plates designed to be served tapas style. I tried the Veal Sweetbreads, Moth Balls, Rabbit Meat Pie and Five Spice Pork Belly.
The Moth Balls are ricotta cheese balls encased in a mochi-like shell and covered with a rich butter and cream sauce. The flavor was very straightforward and simple, yet somehow enjoyable.
The Veal Sweetbreads arrived second. They were lightly deep fried and served over a bed of "bacon jam". The sweetbreads were tender and delicious, but the jam was the real star--a gooey compote full of bacon flavor. I think I'm going to ask for a jar of it to take home for peanut butter and bacon jam sandwiches--YUM!
Next was the Rabbit Meat Pie. It was served in a crock and had an incredible pot pie-type crust on it. Unfortunately, the appearance was the best part of this dish. It simply lacked the flavor necessary to balance out the very dominant flavors in the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar I had paired with it. A little black pepper would have gone a long way for this one.
The Five Spice Pork Belly arrived last and was my favorite item by far. The pork was loaded with Chinese five spice and served over three silver dollar-size johnny cakes, a perfect match for my Avery Maharajah IPA.
For those who prefer traditional pub-grub, don't fret. A burger, fish and chips and steak frites are available, and all looked fantastic. I'll be back soon to try the burger and work my way through the intimidating list of quality brews.